In New Orleans, a young woman named Muriel goes missing. Her sister, Amelia, arrives to look for her. Aided by her aunt's lover, an ex-CIA agent named Bill, Amelia finds evidence on Muriel's computer of conversations with a mysterious and philosophical man. Bill and Amelia's search for him is fitful, but we learn that he's Eddie, a local exterminator who wants to produce and direct a movie about Nicholas Tesla. We follow Eddie, full of schemes, and we meet his brother, Tom, a firefighter who may know something about the death of a man whose widow, Hannah, seeks him out. What has happened to Muriel? Is this a world where anything can be known? Written by
HAPPY HERE AND NOW is one strange film. I wish it were on DVD because I very much want to see it again. Encountering it a couple of years back at a festival of the Film Society of Lincoln Center "picks," I was thoroughly mystified even as, moment-by-moment, I enjoyed the movie. The ensemble cast is a really interesting grab-bag of performers (from Karl Geary to Ally Sheedy, Shalom Harlow, David Arquette, even Larry Fessenden), and the writing and direction is by Michael Almereyda, a moviemaker who keeps growing as he matures. What really knocked my socks off, however, is the ending: a phenomenal feat of film editing by Kristina Boden (and, one presumes, Almereyda) that, in a single continuous succession of splices, brings together the entire movie--theme, ideas, feelings, visuals--so beautifully and fully that I found myself in tears. It's the first and only time that film editing has ever had THIS effect on me! Please, someone, bring "Happy Here and Now" to DVD.
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